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 Decisions ahead for Tigers prospects

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PostSubject: Decisions ahead for Tigers prospects   Wed Nov 18, 2009 8:53 pm

Decisions ahead for Tigers prospects
Club must set 40-man roster by Friday for Rule 5 Draft

By Jason Beck / MLB.com

11/18/09 6:55 PM EST

DETROIT -- While the Tigers look at the possibility of adding young talent in trade talks, they have their own prospects to worry about, and a deadline by which to decide about them.



Detroit and other Major League teams have until Friday night to finalize 40-man rosters ahead of next month's Rule 5 Draft, essentially deciding which eligible prospects to protect and which to leave exposed for teams to consider. If another team wants to take a shot on a prospect making the Major League roster, it can draft a player for $50,000 and bring him to Spring Training. But the player either has to stay on the big league roster all year or be offered back to his previous team for $25,000.

In most cases, this isn't a big deal, and the Tigers probably aren't an exception. Between six free agents and the release of Marcus Thames and Matt Treanor, Detroit has four open spots on the 40-man roster and the chance for another spot or two if it decides to designate anyone for assignment.

Still, with a large crop of players from the 2006 First-Year Player Draft having finished their fourth professional seasons on a productive club at Double-A Erie, the Tigers have to make choices.

At least three decisions are obvious. Scott Sizemore, who's favored to win the starting role at second base if the Tigers don't re-sign free agent Placido Polanco, will have to be added. So, too, will first baseman and outfielder Ryan Strieby, the best offensive prospect in the upper levels of the system. Brennan Boesch, whose 28 home runs led the Eastern League, should also be in line for a move.

That leaves one other spot, barring more roster moves, for a few other prospects further down the rung.

Right-handed reliever Brett Jensen towers over opponents at 6-foot-7, and he had an impressive season at Erie in tying for the team lead in saves. He is not an overpowering closer, but a deceptive sidearmer who racked up 59 strikeouts over 52 2/3 innings and tormented right-handed hitters. He has averaged better than a strikeout per inning for his pro career.

Although he doesn't earn the same recognition as Detroit's relief prospects from last year's draft, especially Ryan Perry and Cody Satterwhite, he has the potential to complement the young power arms very well. The next test for him will eventually be Triple-A hitters at Toledo.

Pitching prospects, especially relievers, are traditionally the most appealing in the Rule 5 Draft. History shows it's easier for most teams to take a pitcher and stash him in the back of the bullpen than to draft a hitter and spot him on the end of the bench. For a unique situational pitcher, the appeal could be even more so.

Positionally, outfielder Deik Scram still hasn't shown the batting average the Tigers might like to see at Erie, but the versatile outfielder's 20 home runs reflected a relatively sound swing and the ability to make solid contact. His strikeout totals hid a tendency for long at-bats, something the Tigers have wanted to see in their system. He doesn't necessarily project to be a power hitter, and he could get crowded out by Boesch and Strieby, but he could eventually find a role. Still, outfielders don't usually make teams as Rule 5 picks.

Other Tigers Minor Leaguers who could end up eligible for the Rule 5 Draft include infielder Audy Ciriaco, Erie starter Jonah Nickerson and Toledo infielder Will Rhymes, who stole 20 bases for the Mud Hens.

The flip side of the Tigers' roster decisions, of course, is whether to leave a spot open to possibly take someone in the Rule 5 Draft. With a relief corps that could use some help for a year, it's an intriguing possibility, though not necessarily enough to leave others off.

Jason Beck is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.


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PostSubject: Re: Decisions ahead for Tigers prospects   Fri Nov 20, 2009 5:07 pm

Tigers add four players to roster
Star prospect Sizemore among group heading to Detroit

By Anthony Castrovince / MLB.com

11/20/09 3:24 PM EST

The Tigers filled up their 40-man with four Rule 5-eligible Minor Leaguers on Friday, in advance of MLB's 11:59 p.m. ET deadline to do so.



Triple-A Toledo second baseman Scott Sizemore and shortstop Audy Ciriaco and Double-A Erie first baseman/outfielder Ryan Strieby and outfielder Brennan Boesch had their contracts purchased. Those additions bring the Tigers' roster to its 40-man capacity.

Sizemore, 24, was the Tigers' Minor League Player of the Year in '09. He hit a combined .308 with 88 runs scored, 39 doubles, five triples, 17 homers, 66 RBIs and 21 stolen bases in 130 games with Erie and Toledo. Baseball America named him to its first-team Minor League All-Star squad at season's end.

In the Arizona Fall League, Sizemore batted .368 (7-for-19) with two doubles, three homers and nine RBIs in six games for Peoria before having surgery on his left ankle on Oct. 27 to repair a fractured fibula. He is expected to be ready for Spring Training.

Ciriaco spent the bulk of his '09 season with Class A Lakeland, getting the call to Triple-A just before the end of the season. With Lakeland, he batted .262 with 55 runs scored, 17 doubles, five triples, 11 homers, 59 RBIs and 15 stolen bases in 121 games. Baseball America tabbed him as the best infield arm in the Florida State League.

The 22-year-old Ciriaco saw seven games of action with the Mud Hens.

Strieby, 24, spent all year at Erie, where he hit .303 with 64 runs, 18 doubles, a triple, 19 homers and 58 RBIs in 86 games. His homer total ranked fourth in the Eastern League, but he missed time because of a fractured bone in his wrist.

Boesch, 24, also spent all year with Erie, batting .275 with 89 runs, 26 doubles, seven triples, 28 homers and 93 RBIs in 131 games. He was named to the Eastern League's postseason All-Star team after leading the league in homers, extra-base hits (61) and total bases (269). He also finished third in RBIs and slugging percentage (.510).

Anthony Castrovince is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.


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PostSubject: Re: Decisions ahead for Tigers prospects   Fri Nov 20, 2009 5:10 pm

40-Man Roster
Pitchers B/T Ht Wt DOB
38 Jeremy Bonderman
R/R 6-2 220 10/28/82
49 Eddie Bonine
R/R 6-5 220 06/06/81
40 Freddy Dolsi
R/R 6-0 160 01/09/83
41 Casey Fien
R/R 6-2 195 10/21/83
43 Alfredo Figaro
R/R 6-0 175 07/07/84
58 Armando Galarraga
R/R 6-4 180 01/15/82
36 Edwin Jackson
R/R 6-3 210 09/09/83
31 Zach Miner
R/R 6-3 200 03/12/82
59 Fu-Te Ni
L/L 6-0 170 11/14/82
45 Ryan Perry
R/R 6-4 200 02/13/87
48 Rick Porcello
R/R 6-5 200 12/27/88
50 Clay Rapada
R/L 6-5 200 03/09/81
Nate Robertson
R/L 6-2 225 09/03/77
-- Jay Sborz
R/R 6-4 210 01/24/85
44 Bobby Seay
L/L 6-2 235 06/20/78
41 Zach Simons
L/R 6-3 200 05/23/85
-- Jacob Turner
R/R 6-4 205 05/21/91
35 Justin Verlander
R/R 6-5 225 02/20/83
21 Dontrelle Willis
L/L 6-4 225 01/12/82
54 Joel Zumaya
R/R 6-3 210 11/09/84
Catchers B/T Ht Wt DOB
13 Alex Avila
L/R 5-11 210 01/29/87
8 Gerald Laird
R/R 6-1 225 11/13/79
55 Dusty Ryan
R/R 6-4 220 09/02/84
Infielders B/T Ht Wt DOB
24 Miguel Cabrera
R/R 6-4 240 04/18/83
-- Audy Ciriaco
R/R 6-3 195 06/16/87
27 Brent Dlugach
R/R 6-4 195 03/03/83
15 Brandon Inge
R/R 5-11 190 05/19/77
19 Jeff Larish
L/R 6-2 200 10/11/82
39 Ramon Santiago
S/R 5-11 175 08/31/79
-- Scott Sizemore
R/R 6-0 185 01/04/85
-- Ryan Strieby
R/R 6-5 235 08/09/85
Outfielders B/T Ht Wt DOB
-- Brennan Boesch
L/L 6-6 210 04/12/85
28 Curtis Granderson
L/R 6-1 185 03/16/81
Carlos Guillen
S/R 6-1 215 09/30/75
32 Don Kelly
L/R 6-4 190 02/15/80
30 Magglio Ordonez
R/R 6-0 215 01/28/74
25 Ryan Raburn
R/R 6-0 185 04/17/81
60 Wilkin Ramirez
R/R 6-2 190 10/25/85
34 Clete Thomas
L/R 5-11 195 11/14/83
57 Casper Wells
R/R 6-2 210 11/23/84


“It takes pitching, hitting and defense. Any two can win. All three make you unbeatable.”    
–Joe Garagiola
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PostSubject: Re: Decisions ahead for Tigers prospects   Fri Nov 20, 2009 11:42 pm

Last Updated: November 20. 2009 4:42PM
Scott Sizemore, three others added to Tigers' 40-man roster
Lynn Henning / The Detroit News

The Tigers continued with their off-season housekeeping Friday by completing their 40-man roster, which brings aboard four newcomers.

Scott Sizemore, who is tentatively set to start at second base for the Tigers in 2010, was added from the Triple-A Toledo roster, as was shortstop Audy Ciriaco. Ryan Strieby and Brennan Boesch, a pair of corner outfielders, had their contracts purchased from Double-A Erie.

The players are automatically invited to spring training with the big-league team and are protected from potential exposure to the Rule 5 draft.

Sizemore, 24, fractured his ankle last month during an Arizona Fall League game but is expected to be ready for spring training. He was the Tigers' Minor League Player of the Year in 2009 after batting .308 with 17 home runs and 66 RBIs in 130 games at both Erie and Toledo.

Boesch, 24, batted .275 in 131 games at Erie and led the league with 28 home runs. He had 93 RBIs. In a Baseball America poll of Eastern League managers, he was voted as having the most power of any player in the league.

Ciriaco, 22, played most of the season at Class-A Lakeland before being promoted to Toledo. He batted .262 in 121 games and in Baseball America's poll was ranked as having the league's best infield arm.

Strieby is a 24-year-old former first baseman who was moved to left field last season because of Miguel Cabrera's presumed long-term presence at first for the Tigers. He was off to a terrific start at Erie before fracturing a hamate bone in his wrist. He still hit. 303 with 19 home runs and 58 RBIs in 86 games.

Sizemore was even hotter during the first days of the Arizona Fall League. He was batting .368 in six games with three home runs and nine RBIs before injuring his left ankle when a baserunner slid into him during a double-play break-up at second base.

lynn.henning@detnews.com


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